Cyprus' Nicos Anastasiades and Reuven Rivlin. (Hillel Maeir/TPS) Hillel Maeir/TPS

Israel welcomed Cyprus’ adoption on Wednesday of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism, which cites various anti-Israeli accusations as anti-Semitic examples.

By Arye Green, TPS

Thessalia Shambos, Cyprus’ ambassador to Israel, announced that her nation’s decision to join the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) reaffirms Cyprus’ firm commitment “to combat all forms of anti-Semitism.”

Shambos made her comments after Cyprus applied for observer status in the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).

Israel’s Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz commended Cyprus on the move, calling it an “important step in the fight against all forms of anti-Semitism, including anti-Zionism.”

Israel’s Ambassador to Cyprus Sammy Revel similarly praised the decision, noting that it is particularly important in light of the growing threat of anti-Semitism.

“Important Cyprus Government decision to adopt the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism. Israel and Cyprus work together on Holocaust remembrance & awareness to combat anti-Semitism. The decision is significant in view of threats. We must remember the past to ensure the future,” he wrote on Twitter.

The IHRA definition of anti-Semitism defines anti-Semitism as “a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

The IHRA states that anti-Semitic examples include denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor, comparing Israel to Nazi Germany and leveling accusations against Jewish citizens of various countries that they are more loyal to Israel than to their own countries.

Cyprus became the 17th country to adopt the IHRA’s definition of anti-Semitism after France and Portugal did so earlier this month.

The IHRA has 34 member countries and seven observer countries. Acceptance of the IHRA depends on the counties’ adherence to the Stockholm Declaration on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research of January 28, 2000, as well as several other conditions.

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